SUICIDE RISK OF STRESSED-OUT BANK WORKERS; DEATH SPARKS UNION WARNING.
Stressed-out bank staff are at risk of killing themselves as workloads rise and jobs are cut.
The warning from finance workers' union The Workers' Union was a trade union in the United Kingdom. It merged with the Transport and General Workers' Union in 1929. See also
David Stewart David Stewart may be:
The coroner at the inquest inquest, in law, a body of men appointed by law to inquire into certain matters. The term also refers to the inquiry itself as well as to the findings of the inquiry. was critical of bosses for referring the matter straight to head office.
He said staff would regret that only one person, David, filled the cash machine and that he should have been checked at home more often after his suspension from work.
Jacqui O'Neill, of the Banking, Insurance and Finance Union, said: "Other bank workers may have taken their own lives.
"Pressure is increasing while the number of workers are being cut."
BIFU estimates 150,000 jobs in the sector have been cut since 1990.
The success of telephone banking and debit cards led to many job losses by sweeping away piles of paperwork.
The reduction or elimination of government power in a particular industry, usually enacted to create more competition within the industry.
Traditional areas that have been deregulated are the telephone and airline industries. of the industry allowed a much wider range of companies, like supermarkets, to offer financial products.
At the same time, the BIFU's workload has increased to record levels.
Last year, they won a record total of pounds 1.5million in compensation against financial institutions.
Jacqui O'Neill said: "Staff are working a lot of overtime just to get work done.
"Staff are monitored all the time to make sure they are working as hard as possible. In a call centre the chances are all your calls are taped and you are only supposed to take so long with each caller.
"The number of key strokes on the computer is measured to see how much work is being done."
BIFU claims problems suffered by workers ultimately affect customers.
She added: "The number of complaints to the banking ombudsman has reached record levels. Queues are longer and mistakes with accounts are more common."
The Bank of Scotland came in for criticism from its own staff in a 1996 survey. Many hit out at excessive overtime, staffing levels and security.
David had a pounds 440 overdraft when money disappeared from the cashpoint cash·point
n. Chiefly British
An automated teller machine. machine at a Bank of Scotland branch in Reading, Berkshire Coordinates:
Reading is a large town, unitary authority area (the Borough of Reading) and urban area in Berkshire, England. It is located at the confluence of the River Thames and River Kennet, midway between London and Swindon off the .
He was suspended pending a disciplinary hearing on January 28 but eight days before he was due to appear he hanged himself.
In a suicide note A suicide note is a message left by someone who later attempts or commits suicide. It is estimated that 12-20% of suicides are accompanied by a note. However, incidence rates may depend on race, method of suicide, and cultural differences and may reach rates as high , he admitted breaking bank procedures but denied stealing the money.
His father, Malcolm, is a manager with the Bank of Scotland in Dunfermline.
A spokesman for the bank denied they had any problems with over-stressed staff.
He said: "We have checked this out ourselves with BIFU and they say the issues in the survey are no longer a problem."
Asked about the death of David, he said: "It's tragic for all concerned."